Immunotherapy for Dog Allergies and Itchy Skin
I am so excited for all the wonderful and exciting new treatment options for pets suffering with allergies and severe itchy skin, a condition has proven extremely difficult to treat. Just recently, I started carrying a new treatment option at my animal hospital called Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapy. This treatment is so new that there is still no official name for the medication. But what is it? Basically, Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapy is a substance given to pets that stimulates an immune response that targets specific environmental allergies in your pets. Let’s get right into some more details and how it can help your pet!
What Is Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapy?
It is an injectable liquid containing an antibody that targets and neutralizes interleukin (IL)-31. Before I lose you and you skip over this question, please let me explain in better terms! A mammal’s cells make interleukins which send signals to the brain to tell our bodies messages like, “this is hot,” “my skin is itching,” “this tastes horrible,” “my back hurts,” etc. Since creating the allergy medication Apoquel, scientists have isolated a specific interleukin, interleukin-31, that is only found in a dog that has allergies caused by the environment (flowers, soils, pollens, etc.). Interleukin-31 tells the brain, “I am itching”. After discovering the specific interleukin that causes itching due to environmental allergies, these amazing scientists created an antibody to locate and attack interleukin-31, and prevent interleukin-31 from signaling to the brain, “I am itching.” What is so exciting about this treatment? It uses the body’s natural immune response (antibodies attacking foreign particles) to combat itching. GENIUS! The treatment simply interrupts the cycle of itching and inflammation in dogs that have environmental allergies.
What Pets Are Candidates For This Type Of Treatment?
All dogs (puppies and adults) with allergies to the environment are candidates! This treatment specifically targets interleukin-31, which is only found in dogs that have allergies to the environment).
What Does The Treatment Consists Of?
According to your pet’s weight, the treatment consists of an injection that your veterinarian gives to your dog one time per month.
Are There Side Effects?
There are no side effects. This is one of the many reasons why I am so excited about this new treatment. It utilizes the body’s natural mechanisms and immune system to combat itching. And it only targets one type of interleukin, so it does not affect other cell signals and functions.
Is It Safe?
Yes! This treatment is safe for all dogs of all ages. This treatment can be utilized along with other medications, including parasiticides, antibiotics, antifungals vaccines, other immunotherapy, and antihistamines.
I am so excited about this new therapy. I love learning and utilizing treatment options in my practice that help ease suffering in pets, and more importantly are safe and healthy. These newer therapies are replacing older treatment options for pets with allergies such as steroids, that can be harmful long term on the body. Inquire with your veterinarian whether your dog is a candidate for this treatment. To learn more about this amazing new targeted immunotherapy, please refer to: